As a general rule, if limestone is looked after it will look fantastic for years, if not even better in years to come.
We have laid out some steps below to cleaning your limestone in preparation for sealing / resealing and generally keeping the tiles clean.
Step 1 – Clear
Clear the surface of the stone to be free of all grit and surface dirt.
Grit is the main cause of sealants not doing their job fully – even after application. As it is abrasive, when systematically walked across, it breaks down the sealer on natural tiles. This can then allow stains and marks to occur. Floors and mats should be cleaned regularly with an untreated dust mop.
Step 2 – Clean
Clean the tiles with a pH-neutral stone cleanser, making sure this is approved for use on limestone. The cleaners are usually in sprays however if you have a larger surface area, there are products available that can be mopped on and rinsed off. We recommend FILA Cleaner Pro as an every day use cleaner.
NOTE: Do not use standard household soaps and water as these often create a build up leaving the surface to look dull over time.
Step 3 – Scrub
Remove any stains or marks before sealing. Work in a circle from the outside to in, mopping up all residue with a clean rag as you go. If the mark persists, FILA have some amazing limestone and grout cleaners designed for specific things, such as oil and grease. We often use the FILA PS87 Pro. There are also purpose products for tougher stains that work by drawing up and drying out the stain, these can take as much as 48 hours to draw a stain out.
TIP: Use an old toothbrush to remove stains.
Step 4 – Rinse
Once you have cleaned and scrubbed your tiles, rinse them clean with soft or distilled water and immediately dry. Never leave water or fluids sitting on your tiles – they will mark. In particular; soft drinks, fruit juice, wine and vinegar, as well as many bathroom & cleaning products, are some of the liquids that can stain and etch your tiles.
Step 5 – Seal / Reseal
The above is the process for pre-sealing, but is also relevant to resealing too. The best way to tell when you need to reseal, is if a drop of water on your tiles sits for 5 minutes and leaves a dark spot or absorbs in. Make sure to use a seal with a good reputation and that is specific for limestone. We recommend the FILA MP90 Eco Extreme sealant for your limestone flooring.
For advice on which flooring would be most suited for your home, we are pleased to offer you design advice at any stage of your project. Please contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01371 821300. Take a look at our Instagram for more design inspiration.